Words of Faith 4-23-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
That is a really strange title for a devotional. But the Bible does speak to us regarding the training and instruction of children in the Lord. No. It is not the same as training a pet or some other creature. The word used means to provide nurture and an environment for growth.
So, what does this training look like? The Bible teaches: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). This particular proverb is largely misunderstood. It actually means to help them find their direction and calling in the Lord so that when they are old, they will have found their path.
The Lord directs us through Paul to provide and nurture an environment for growth in the Lord without exasperating the child. How do we do that?
First and foremost, we must realize that children learn more by example than anything else. Paul has already related to us the power of living a life that is fashioned after the character of God. This is number one. This is the foundation.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Ephesians 5:1-5).
How do we apply that? Here are 10 Ways to TRAIN a child in the way of God through example.
- Honor and love God yourself, and by example, you will train them.
- Honor your child, and through that example, you engender honor.
- Teach honor for your spouse by example.
- Teach the honor of parents by honoring your parents.
- Live a life of character and integrity.
- Create a safe atmosphere for truth.
- Don’t lie to them. Don’t lie for them. Don’t lie around them. Don’t lie.
- Bless your children everyday-- and never, ever curse them.
- Stick up for your kids-- and make sure to listen to their side.
- Teach them responsibility and consequences for their choices.
Training does not happen on one day of the week or only during a certain time of the day. Moses wrote this directive from the Lord concerning the environment provided for children--
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Talk about God. Talk about Him ALL the time. In every situation, talk about the things of God in your coming and going. Be alert for the "teaching moments." Tie the truth of God to the work of your arm and the first thoughts of your mind. Build the truth of God and His Word into the very framework of your home.
Lord, God empower me to have influence in parenting and in guiding children entrusted to the family of Christ. Help me to provide the nurture that is needed and the environment of growth that will impact and shape young lives in ways that honor You. In Jesus’ Name.